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Old 03-10-2015, 12:01 PM   #1
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Natchez Trace and Blue Ridge Parkway

Any suggestions or comments for going North to South on either of the above. Travelling in a 40' Tiffin Phaeton. Am looking for campgrounds and suggested sightseeing.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:15 PM   #2
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On the Trace there is a campground about 1/4 mile behind the welcome center in Tupelo, Barnes Crossing RV Park. Tupelo is halfway between Nashville and Natchez. It's about 440 miles total so it's a leisurely two day trip. Watch for the bicyclists around Leipers Fork, Tn, Tupelo, Ms, and Jackson ,Ms they are plentiful and they are on the road due to the fact that there is no paved shoulder along the Trace. I always try to manage lunch at Pucketts Grocery in Leipers Fork.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:14 PM   #3
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Lots of history along the trace. Many POI's along the way. Some pull-offs are easy for a large coach. Some not so easy or even prohibitive so pay close attention.

Speed limit is 50mph and is strictly enforced. I would suggest a stop at French Camp around mile 180. Nice place to have lunch.

There is a campground at mile 194 named Jeff Busby. I think it is a no hookups park and is free or low cost. Another one closer to Natchez that is free. Trace state park near Tupelo is nice. Natchez state park near Natchez is ok.

Lots to see and do along and around the Natchez Trace. I am extremely familiar with the Trace south of Tupelo so just ask if you want more info on a specific area.

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Old 03-10-2015, 11:16 PM   #4
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davis lake usda park just south of tupelo s great
we parked our 40 foot fiver in there with no issue...

http://www.recreation.gov/unifSearchResults.do
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:11 AM   #5
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Natchez Trace and Blue Ridge Parkway

We entered the northern terminus of the Trace Pkwy with great anticipation in 2013 on our way west. Had heard and read about the historical importance since we were kids. 50 mph limit, but in reality about 40 with curves and traffic. Beautiful road, neat, clean, well kept, beautiful country, never changing, trees and occasional vistas. After about 100 beautifully identical miles of federal parkway we agreed that 340 more miles of this would have us nuts, so we got off and headed west on some US highway. No faster, but it actually let us see a lot of the rural south.

Sorry. ymmv.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:52 AM   #6
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We entered the northern terminus of the Trace Pkwy with great anticipation in 2013 on our way west. Had heard and read about the historical importance since we were kids. 50 mph limit, but in reality about 40 with curves and traffic. Beautiful road, neat, clean, well kept, beautiful country, never changing, trees and occasional vistas. After about 100 beautifully identical miles of federal parkway we agreed that 340 more miles of this would have us nuts, so we got off and headed west on some US highway. No faster, but it actually let us see a lot of the rural south.

Sorry. ymmv.
I have to agree. The Trace was beautiful, but it got boring and we could only take so much. We also got off, for a more mixed, rural, scenery.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:10 AM   #7
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We live near the BRP and have traveled its entire 469 mile length. While it is beautiful, I would not suggest it as a great drive in a 40' coach. It is twisty and steep in places and there are several low clearance tunnels in the NC portion. Speed limit is 45 and most of the NPS campgrounds on the Parkway were built many years ago and too tight for larger RV's. There are RV parks and campgrounds just off and near the BRP in places. My suggestion for the BRP is to travel to places like Asheville or Cherokee in NC, stay in the campgrounds there, and use your toad to see the parkway. In Virginia, there are RV parks near Natural Bridge, Lexington, Luray, and other points along the I-81 corridor that will put your very near to the parkway.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFXG View Post
We entered the northern terminus of the Trace Pkwy with great anticipation in 2013 on our way west. Had heard and read about the historical importance since we were kids. 50 mph limit, but in reality about 40 with curves and traffic. Beautiful road, neat, clean, well kept, beautiful country, never changing, trees and occasional vistas. After about 100 beautifully identical miles of federal parkway we agreed that 340 more miles of this would have us nuts, so we got off and headed west on some US highway. No faster, but it actually let us see a lot of the rural south.
Sorry. ymmv.
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I have to agree. The Trace was beautiful, but it got boring and we could only take so much. We also got off, for a more mixed, rural, scenery.
JFXG & gripper
I've driven portions of both but 50 miles or so of either where was about all I could stand.
Glad to see others share my opinion.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:31 AM   #9
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Be aware that there are two tunnels near the western end of the Blue Ridge Pky. that will be too low for you.

Some interesting places to stop are Grandfather Mountain, Mt. Mitchel, Linville Gorge, & Ashville, NC. There is an interesting, historical, outdoor play in Boone, NC. If you are there when the azaleas are blooming, don't miss Craggy Gardens.

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Old 03-11-2015, 09:04 AM   #10
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We did the Trace, from Nashville, to Natchez and enjoyed the slow pace. If you are the type that likes to be in a hurry, then it may not be for you. Also, we had the "audio tapes" that explained everything as we traveled. If you decide to do the drive, I highly recommend the tapes. One of the most interesting stops is the plantation that was under construction when the war broke out, and the "northern" workers walked off the job, leaving tools , etc, behind. Nothing has been moved since then. All in the same spot, all these years. I think it is called "Longwood". Don't miss it....
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:05 AM   #11
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TUNNEL HEIGHTS - Blue Ridge Parkway (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:23 PM   #12
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We do parts of the Parkway every year or so, as Floridians, it is refreshing to see the terrain & foliage. We have done the Trace from Nashville to Tupelo- we loved it- we stayed at Merriweather Clark campground, on the trace,for free. The Merriweather Clark Campground was the historic site of Mr. Clarks' demise. We prefer the Parkway, but the Trace was well worth the time, and very well kept.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:00 PM   #13
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We did the Trace, from Nashville, to Natchez and enjoyed the slow pace. If you are the type that likes to be in a hurry, then it may not be for you.......

You completely missed my point, Tom. Hurry has nothing to do with it, in fact we spend a good bit of time on 40-45mph rural roads. It was the sameness of every mile; the well kept, clean, beautiful, positively sterile vanilla sameness of every single mile! After 100 of them, I had to have some texture. YMMV, but speed was not even a factor.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:46 AM   #14
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Let me expand on my post and give a different take. I think "slow pace" refers more to state of mind than speed. I have traveled the trace for more than 20 years on a regular basis. Early on I saw the trace as some have noted (all the same, sterile,etc.) but came to see it differently over time. Although the trace does seem the same mile after mile it is truly different mile after mile. I now notice things that some may miss. During the spring the dogwood trees bloom much earlier than the surrounding foliage. It is interesting to see them in the drab forest with their white blooms with nothing else around blooming. You never know what type of wildlife each hill or curve will reveal. I have seen deer, turkey, wild hogs, fox, and many others. I have been amazed at nature and how it is regenerative. There is a 10 mile stretch of the trace (between mile 205 and 215) where a huge tornado followed the trace. The devastation right after was awe-inspiring. The ongoing reclaiming of the area by natural processes is interesting. The spring after the tornado produced budding sweet gum trees that were nothing but a tree trunk 40 to 50 feet high without a single limb on it. Truly a strange sight. The fall colors can be beautiful. The spring reveals blooming wildflowers, budding trees, the planting of soybeans, corn, etc. You might see a field of hay bales or cows. Admittedly it is not for everyone but if this city boy can learn to appreciate it others surely can.

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Craig



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